Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

It's a good time to be in Litchfield, Illinois. I was looking back at when I first got here and the state things were in and the improvements that were needed. But it was easy to see that some time soon it would be so much better; that it was heading in the right direction toward progress. I never anticipated how fast it would get there though; I thought for sure I'd be long gone before it got to where it is now. The Lord has definitely hastened His work here and the rest of us are catching on. 

Alicia's baptism is a go for this Friday and we are all very excited about that. Get this though, she and Akua are getting married tomorrow!!! He officially popped the question like last week, and they're getting married TOMORROW. Obviously it's not going to be a huge ceremony. Only a few people know and are invited, including us, so we feel very privileged. President Bruce, the branch president, will be doing the ceremony. A wedding and a baptism- This is quite a big week for Alicia; we are so excited for her; she is so excited too! These are experiences I wish you could just be here to see for yourself because it's all so magical and you just have to be here to know how awesome this all is. 

Mike was at church again and he was finally able to stay all three hours. He was rocking all the classes, being the best participant in gospel principles and at the end of priesthood meeting he stood up and bore his testimony of sorts on eternal marriage, love and joy with his wife and that he never would have found the gospel without his wife joining the church and passing away and how he needs this to be with her forever. It was powerful. People love Mike and we are all excited for his baptism next week!

We all also love the Smiths. There was a moment in branch council meeting when we were talking about Mason's baptism coming up and President Bruce went on about how awesome the Smiths are and the amazing, genuine progress that they have made and continue making. I personally am very impressed with them and the faith they keep showing. Last week Mason was concerned that he wasn't getting answers to his prayers; that God wasn't talking back to him. Sister Smith was in the hospital earlier this week. While she was there Mason was feeling really worried about her. When he expressed this to Brother Smith, he said, "You know what you've got to do." Mason said, "Yeah, I need to pray."
The next morning Brother Smith asked Mason how he was feeling. Mason explained that he felt good because last night God had answered a lot of his questions. Brother Smith told him that's what happens when you open your heart to Him. In reflecting upon this I was so deeply touched by the love and care God has for every single one of us, shown by how He responds to a humble eleven year old boy who wanted to hear from Him in a time of concern. If an eleven year old can pray to an Almighty God and receive answers, full of peace and comfort then so can we. I know God is in every detail of our lives, watching over us and guiding us from the day we are born to the day we are welcomed back. I know He lives. Above all I know He loves us. I am so grateful for the faith a Mason to seek Him and follow the Savior's example in a couple weeks and be baptized. (Sister Smith is out of the hospital by the way). 

I had my last zone conference this week too. We traveled back to the old stomping grounds of Urbana to have it. It was very strange being there again. I just seems like yesterday I was serving there only everything was green this time. Unfortunately I wasn't able to stop and say hi to anyone while I was up there. I did however see a few of the sister in the ward who made us lunch.
 I can't believe how fast all of this has gone by. I am so indebted to the Lord for the time I've been given to serve Him. I love this work so much. I love my mission. I love these people. Oh how I love my Savior!
That's all for this week. I love you guys!

-Elder Curtis

Rolling in the back seat with my boys. On my right is my current companion, Elder Abbott. On my left is my former companion, Elder Ivey, the first of I trained back in St. Louis/Jefferson City.

​I caught a bird. :)

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